"We will not allow Istanbul to be turned into a base for fascism"
The co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said that a recent police brutality against a senior party official and the following mass arrest at a demonstration staged in protest is a clear indication that the government is afraid of HDP's "insistence to build the future on democracy, justice and peace."
Ferhat Encu, former deputy and co-chair of HDP's Istanbul branch, was slapped by a police officer before the cameras on Sunday during a protest in Istanbul. Over 100 demonstrators protesting the police brutality were detained a day later in the city and Sancar's entrance to HDP's offices was blocked by the police. The police who slapped Encu was reportedly on duty during the protest.
It was also disclosed on Monday that the chief appeals prosecutor has demanded freezing of HDP's bank account that holds funds provided by the Turkish Treasury in the context of political financing to parties with parliamentary groups.
Addressing HDP's parliamentary group in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on Tuesday, Mithat Sancar said:
"The government is afraid of our determination. They are afraid of the might created by our insistence on democratic politics."
"They are afraid of our political will to stop the building of this regime. They are afraid of our determination and insistence to build the future on democracy, justice and peace. Our march continues despite attacks, and this terrifies the government. They think they can silence us, but they are mistaken. They have done everything in their power, and they continue to resort to all possible measures, but they are unable to silence us."
Stating that the government is trying to "turn Istanbul to a base for building the new regime," Sancar said that this could be prevented by a joint struggle of a broad alliance for democracy.
"They use the judiciary to punish the elected mayor of Istanbul. They now implement a policy, practiced in countless cases against us, in Istanbul," he said.
"The objective of this elimination operation is obvious. They are expanding a policy that they previously practiced on us, and which they believe has been refined, on the entire country. They want to finalize the building of an authoritarian regime."
"The only way to prevent this is a broad, joint struggle for democracy. We will not allow Istanbul to be turned into a base for fascism."